“Not a house of prayer”: Petting zoo owner defends ejecting Muslim family

Huub van Leijsen, the owner of petting zoo Pukkemuk in Dongen, released a statement defending his decision to ask a Muslim family to leave the zoo on Monday. In the statement he says that he feels like a victim, not a perpetrator and that the decision was not based on discrimination in any way, Omroep Brabant reports.

According to Van Leijsen, he noticed kids getting anxious in the petting zoo about an hour after the Muslim family arrived and realized that the family started praying. “I tried to explain that Pukkemuk is not a house of prayer, but a playground for children. Children have the leading role and I do everything I can to make things go their way as much as possible.” he said in the statement.

I smell shakedown.

h/t Waffle

  • Xavier

    New zoo event! Pigs on a leash! Bring the kids and let them walk a real domesticated pig! 5 daily walking times! Fun for the whole family!

    • Ha!

      • Kathy Prendergast

        Better yet, let the pigs have the run of the park, and see if the Muslims’ determination to shove their religion into people’s faces is worth putting up with pigs’ snouts being shoved into their arses while they pray.

  • pdxnag

    Muslim prayer is nothing but cursing at non-Muslims. (Just like the koran.)

    Have a sign: “No Cursing.”

  • tom_billesley

    If you told mahometans to pray in a zoo, they’d sue.
    Land donated for the London Central Mosque is near to Regent’s Park Zoo, but I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate.

  • andycanuck

    Kids are always nervous around Moslems. Goat “kids” that is not “human children” kids. Although come to think of it… hmm.

  • chayisun

    And I hear the father of these children was eyeing the sheep enclosure. Much to the approval of his burkha clad wife.

    • Waffle

      When I saw the photo of the goats, I thought that something else was going on. But my mind’s probably in the gutter . . . 🙂

  • Clear Thinker

    Not prayer, but dry run.

  • Alain

    In the early 70s I was living in Africa, a Muslim majority country, and often travelled to neighbouring Arab countries. Never did you see anyone so intent on praying that they did it in the streets or public. Yet they pull this crap after having invaded European countries and now in other non Muslim countries. It is a political statement just as women being hidden behind a veil. It amounts to giving the bird to their hosts. I should also mention that none of the schools or even universities at the time had “prayer rooms”. Imagine that!

    • Kathy Prendergast

      You’re right; I spent a week in Muslim-majority Xinjiang Province in China, most of it in the city of Kashgar which is almost all Muslim esp. the inner “old city” but never saw anyone praying in public, certainly not mixed groups of men, women and children in the middle of playgrounds or parks. Praying is done at home or in the mosque.

  • Dana Garcia

    I used to own a few goats during my non-urban phase, and I would never let Mo characters near them.

    Incidentally, baby goats will snuggle up on your lap just like a puppy or kitty. Totally cute.

    • Minicapt

      You’re kidding!


    • Kathy Prendergast

      Yup; they’re adorable…and nanny goats frequently have twins, triplets or even occasionally quadruplets; those babies are so tiny you can pick them up and cuddle them like kittens. Goats are really very similar to sheep genetically, only smarter, hardier, and easier to raise as they will eat anything. Also their milk is much better for humans and makes excellent cheese. Their meat tastes almost the same as lamb or mutton; I ate a lot of it in Muslim-majority Northwest China where goat and lamb are the most popular meats because they eat no pork and beef is very expensive. The Chinese don’t really distinguish between goat and sheep meat; it’s the same word for both animals in Mandarin.

  • Kathy Prendergast

    You can see in the video that there are dogs roaming freely in the park; don’t religious Muslims hate dogs and consider them unclean? Why on earth would they be praying in a place where there are dogs around? Also, being a petting zoo in the Netherlands I would assume it has one or two pigs. Praying with pigs within snorting distance? Some Muslims in the West seem to be strangely selective about how they choose to practice their faith.

  • Kathy Prendergast

    This kind of ostentatious public prayer is meant to be intimidating. The whole incident reeks of being a huge planned stunt just like the “Flying Imams” several years ago.